The best children’s books are fun for parents to read while at the same time providing great entertainment to the child. These books instill a love of reading in us all! I began reading to my children from the time I was pregnant. All 3 have turned out to be very intelligent and independent, and I strongly believe that reading was a big part of that. Here are my top 10 favorite children’s books.
Best Children’s Book 1
A perfect book for babies, is “Babies” by Gyo Fujikawa. This is a simple board book, perfect for a baby to hold. My youngest daughter used to lay on her blanket when she was only eight months old, holding this book while slowly turning the pages, mesmerized by each one. It depicts illustrations of babies of different cultures and ethnicity laughing and playing together. It is perfect for infants and young toddlers.
Best Children’s Book 2
This list would not be complete without “Pat the Bunny.” This book was first published in 1940, and has been a best seller ever since. I remember reading this as a very young child, and read it to all of my children. Do you remember petting the rabbit fur, or feeling the rough sandpaper that stood for “daddy’s scratchy face”? This is a wonderful book for infants and toddlers.
Best Children’s Book 3
“Guess How Much I Love You” by Sam McBratney, is a more recent book, published the year my youngest daughter was born. This book offers children the much needed assurance of their parents’ love. Show how your feelings stretch longer than your arms, and you can have lots of fun reading this to your child. It is perfect for young toddlers through preschool.
Best Children’s Book 4
One of my very favorite books to read as a child, was “Where the Wild Things Are”, by Maurice Sendak. It was published just a few years before I was born, and was read to me many times. I purchased a first edition copy some years back and it is a truly a special treasure. It is well known and now also a feature film. Definitely a classic, and you can enjoy a “wild rumpus” with both Max and your child! Perfect for young school age children and up.
Best Children’s Book 5
Everything by Dr. Seuss is a lot of fun for adults and children alike. There are so many wonderful Dr. Seuss books, I had to list these as one, or the whole list would consist of Dr. Seuss! My favorites are “Go Dog Go” (especially the end when the dogs have a party in the tree), “Are You My Mother”, “Green Eggs and Ham”, and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. These really need no explanation as I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love Dr. Seuss! They are perfect to read to infants through school age children.
Best Children’s Book 6
A lesser known book, but one of both mine and my children’s favorites, is “The Monster at the End of this Book”, by Jon Stone. It is a “Little Golden Book”, and a favorite on many adults list as well as children’s. Based on the lovable Sesame Street character, Grover, on each page he begs readers not to turn the page as he is afraid of the monster at the end of the book. Of course, he is “so embarrassed” when the monster turns out to be Grover himself. I could read this over and over to my children and never get tired of it.
Best Children’s Book 7
Do you remember Richard Scarry’s “What Do People Do All Day”? This is an excellent book that provides lots of interaction for you and your child. I remember trying to locate Lowly Worm in all of the different illustrations as well as being fascinated by the different jobs that people did during the day. Very good for toddlers through preschool aged children.
Best Children’s Book 8
“Frog and Toad” are the main characters in the series of easy-reader children’s books by Arnold Lobel. Each book has five simple and funny short stories. My favorite was in “Frog and Toad Together”, and tells the story of Frog and Toad making cookies together and eating so many that they decided to hide the cookies from themselves. Its one I’ve never forgotten, and my children loved as well. It is a perfect learn-to-read book for young children as well.
Best Children’s Book 9
Did you know that the “Little Bear” books by Elsa Holmelund Minarik, were the first of the “I Can Read Books”, made especially for beginning readers? She makes it fun for children to learn to read, with the sweet and cuddly Little Bear. In one of the stories, Little Bear tells his mother that he is going to fly to the moon with his new space helmet. Mother Bear tells him to be back by lunch, and he is. Based on this story, my cousin and I decided that we would use the closet as our rocket-ship and fly to the moon together. What fun we had! These books are for ages preschool through age 8.
Best Children’s Book 10
I fell in love with the “Little House” books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, when I was about nine years old. This happened to be at the same time the television series premiered, and is still one of my favorite shows. These books are wonderful for older children, ages nine through twelve. I felt I was going on an adventure with Laura’s family through the woods, in their little house in Indian country on the prairie, and the unsettled wilderness of the Dakota territory. I wanted to be Laura and experience the development of our country as she did, and fish on the banks of Plum Creek. There are times that I still long to be part of that family!
Reading to your children and instilling a love of reading in them is one of the best gifts you can give!